Monday, February 19, 2018

World’s Largest Science Organization Gives Top Honor To Conspiracy-Monger Michael Mann

If you need another example of scientific establishment’s deteriorating credibility since the election of Donald Trump, here it is: The world’s largest science organization is bestowing a top honor on a climate propagandist who spends lots of his time making hateful, inflammatory comments about the president, his family, his administration and GOP lawmakers on social media.

Michael Mann, a Penn State University professor and infamous author of the so-called “hockey stick” graph to show the planet is warming, will receive the 2018 “Public Engagement with Science” award by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this weekend. The award will recognize Mann’s “tireless efforts to communicate the science of climate change to the media, public and policymakers.”

There’s no question that Mann is the climate tribe’s most outspoken firebrand. He is the media’s go-to source for a doomsday comment about anthropogenic global warming. Since the beginning of the month, Mann has been quoted in dozens of articles—not necessarily about science, but to berate the Trump administration for reversing many of President Obama’s climate change policies.

He is the “Citizen Secretary of Science and Environment in the so-called Shadow Cabinet to troll Trump cabinet members. After Trump was elected, Mann warned how “my colleagues and I are steeling ourselves for a renewed onslaught of intimidation, from inside and outside government. It would be bad for our work and bad for our planet.”

Rather than offer thoughtful, persuasive arguments for why climate change is a legitimate threat, Mann instead excoriates anyone, including so-called climate deniers and fellow scientists, who does not conform to his ideological worldview.

“The AAAS has sent quite a message to the public by giving a communications award to Michael Mann, who made multiple false claims about being a Nobel prize winner, including to a court of law,” Steve Milloy, author of “Scare Pollution” and publisher of, told me. “Mann has conspired with others to silence critics and prevent opponents from being published in science journals. He has sued his critics but, ironically, spends a great deal of time making ad hominem attacks against politicians and scientists with whom he disagrees.”

Earlier this month, Mann led an effort to oust philanthropist and GOP fundraiser Rebekah Mercer from the American Museum of Natural History board of directors. Why? Mercer, according to Mann and his fellow climate bullies, is a “financier of climate denialism” because her foundation also contributes to nonprofit organizations such as the Heartland Institute, which challenges the grip that climate change orthodoxy has in the media and public education.

Although Mercer has a science background and has donated $4 million to the museum, Mann accused her of “spending millions to discredit science,” and called her a “sponsor of fake news and climate disinformation.” Mercer responded to his attacks in the Wall Street Journal on February 15, admitting that “absurd smears have inspired a few gullible, but vicious characters, to make credible death threats against my family and me.”

This Kind of ‘Public Engagement’ Isn’t Praiseworthy

But it’s Mann’s shameful—one might argue unstable—rants against the current administration and Republican lawmakers that should have disqualified him from receiving a “public engagement” award from the world’s top scientific society. His Twitter timeline is a disturbing mix of self-promoting puffery and enraged political tirades with very little science. In just the past few days, Mann has called the president “a pathetic excuse for a human being,” a “sociopath,” and wondered if he would be “tied up with the golden lasso.”

The award-winning communicator has called Kellyanne Conway “evil,” accused House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of being a “traitor,” and routinely blasts Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Mann said this to Rolling Stone last year about Pruitt’s appointment: “If there was ever an example of the fox guarding the henhouse, this is it. We have a Koch-brothers-connected industry shill who is now in charge of climate and environmental policy for the entire country.”

The climatologist saves his most petty and pernicious attacks for fellow scientists who challenge the failings of climate science. During a congressional hearing last year, Mann testified alongside two climate scientists he has relentlessly bashed: Judith Curry and Roger Pielke Jr. Although both believe in manmade climate change, their objections to faulty modeling and inaccurate projections have placed them on Mann’s hit list.

After one lawmaker asked about this, Curry addressed Mann’s unprofessional conduct: “What I’m concerned about is the behavior of scientists. I’ve been called a denier for the congressional record from Michael Mann’s testimony. What kind of a behavior is that? This is not the behavior of scientists who are respectfully disagreeing and open to debate.” Mann replied he hadn’t called her a denier, even though it was in his written opening remarks. He can’t even keep his own story straight.

In a blog post, Pielke—who was also smeared by the Obama White House—didn’t mince words about the AAAS’s decision to celebrate Mann: “The AAAS is telling us that engaging in hyper-partisan, gutter politics, targeted against Republicans and colleagues you disagree with, using unethical tactics, will be rewarded by leaders in the scientific community. AAAS could work to help to defuse the pathological politicization of science. Instead, it has thrown some gasoline on the fire.”

Apparently Everything Is Political Now to the Left

So, why did the AAAS choose Mann? For precisely the reasons Pielke outlined. Since the presidential election, the scientific establishment has largely lost its collective mind. Rather than leverage its expertise and power for the common good, it is fueling the nation’s partisan divide, pushing identity politics over science, and working with anti-Trump foes to undermine his presidency.

The AAAS chief is former Democratic congressman Rush Holt, who late last year helped push the phony story that the Centers for Disease Control had banned seven words under direction from Trump’s White House. He ironically told CNN this about the mythical ban: “The epidemic I’m talking about is widespread negligent attitude toward science, neglect of evidence, where people far and wide seem very comfortable substituting wishful thinking and opinion and ideology for evidence.”

After the election, scientific leaders claimed Trump would destroy science. But glorifying political demagogues with PhDs and wrapping it in the cloak of science will do more lasting damage to science than anything Trump does or tweets. As Curry wrote this week in response to Mann’s award: “What to say about this, other than the climate science world is upside down?  On one level, all this is highly amusing. On another level, I absolutely despair for the integrity of academic climate science.” And all science.


Surprise! Spiegel Online Slams Profiteering From Climate Alarmism… Munich Re Admits: “No Climate Signal”

Spiegel Online published two days ago an excellent article by science journalist Axel Bojanowski on the widespread “disinformation surrounding climate change” and the profit made from the hyping and exaggeration of weather extremes.

Examples cited are the Deutsche Bundesbahn (German Railway), the reinsurance industry, foremost Munich Re, and alarmist climate scientists such as Potsdam Institute’s Stefan Rahmstorf.

All have been playing it loose with the data on weather events and exaggerating (at times grossly) and with the aim of deriving profit, Spiegel reports.

Bojanowski’s piece has since found much praise and positive reaction for its content. For example high profile meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann tweeted (translation follows):

Grateful that @Axel_Bojanowski via @SPIEGELONLINE is allowed to correctly report on the science of climate change, and even if he’ll be confronted by people foaming at the mouth.”

Recently the Swiss meteorologist Kachelmann came under harsh attack from Potsdam scientist Stefan Rahmstorf and a leading German Green politician – for having the nerve to give the real facts on storm frequency and intensity on a television talk round that included Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber.

Seasoned journalist Michael Miersch also tweeted: “The best that I’ve ever read on the instrumentalization of climate change.”

German Railway: climate change as a cover for poor management
Bojanowski begins by describing how today the German Railway (Deutsche Bundesbahn) – once heralded for its outstanding punctuality and overall efficiency – has discovered how to use climate change to deflect blame away from its recent poor management, which over the years has often led to lousy service.

Over the years, the Bundesbahn has made the maintenance of its tracks a victim to cost cutting. Trees and vegetation along the tracks no longer get sufficiently cut back, and so it is common for routes to get blocked during stormy weather. What better excuse than climate change could the Deutsche Bahn have to explain all the disruptions?

Data in fact show no increasing trend in extreme weather
All the cancellations, service shutdowns and delays are of course due to ever increasing storm intensity and frequency, the Deutsche Bahn management likes to claim, and they get the full backing of the media, policymakers and alarmist climate scientists. Yet Bojanowski calls out these claims by the Bundesbahn for what they are: lame excuses based on hyped up science.

The Spiegel journalist writes that a number of scientists have shown that there has in fact been no increase in storm intensity and frequency in Europe, commenting:

"That’s amazing, as many scientists anticipate fewer storms in Central Europe as a consequence of climate change.”

Munich Re bilking the public with climate hype?

Another industry caught hyping up extreme weather activity is the reinsurance industry, which insures regular insurance companies against major claims events. The reason for the added hype: justification for hefty premium increases, Bojanowski suggests.

Munich Re admits no real climate signal

One company Bojanowski cites is the world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, which annually publishes a report on “natural catastrophes”, in which the company likes to blame climate change, cite alarmist experts and claim there is today a “new normal”. When asked by Spiegel to comment concerning data showing that it isn’t really so, a climate expert from Munch Re was forced to admit:

"The blanket statement that weather-dependent damages worldwide show a climate signal cannot be supported.”

So even the Munich Re knows their claims are hype, yet they continue preaching climate doom and gloom.

Bojanowski also accuses the reinsurers and alarmist climate scientists of “staying silent on claims from the scientific community that it’s all very much in dispute“.

The Spiegel journalist also describes how companies selling environmental products also shamelessly hype climate change in order to get municipalities and cities to invest more in climate protection and environmental systems. Such companies often pay (handsomely) alarmist scientists, such as those from the Potsdam Institute, to spread fear over a rapidly approaching climate doom.


Let's suppose that 100% renewable energy were possible. What would be the result?,/b>

A: the complete destruction of the Earth through massive mining operations and the generation of enormous amounts of toxic waste.

Interior Dept. Is Weeks Away From Holding The Largest Oil And Gas Lease Sale In History

The Department of the Interior (DOI) will offer 77.3 million acres for offshore drilling in the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history on March 21, according to the DOI.

The sale will cover areas off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. It will include about 14,776 lease blocks from three to 231 miles offshore.

“Responsibly developing our offshore energy resources is a major pillar of President Trump’s American Energy Dominance strategy,” DOI Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt said in statement. “A strong offshore energy program supports tens of thousands good paying jobs and provides the affordable and reliable energy we need to heat homes, fuel our cars, and power our economy.”

The sale is part of the Trump administration’s National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, a five-year program that may open up areas along the Atlantic and Pacifica coasts and around Alaska to offshore drilling. The new OCS plan has been touted as a reversal of the previous plan under former-President Barack Obama which placed 94 percent of the OCS off-limits to drilling.

“We have the strongest safety regulations in the world and today’s technology is making the responsible development of our resources even safer,” Bernhardt said. “We look forward to this important sale and continuing to raise energy revenues, which fund efforts to help safeguard our natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans.”

More of the OCS may be opened and offered in a lease sale later. DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke has promised to meet with every governor opposed to opening waters off their states’ coasts to offshore drilling. Zinke has already promised Florida Gov. Rick Scott exemptions in some areas off the state’s coast.


Renewable subsidies and the destruction of Australian energy competitiveness

Alan Moran

Yesterday I was the token rationalist speaker at the Australasian Agricultural and Resources Economics Society’s “The Future of Australian Energy Symposium”.

Two other speakers were Tony Wood (from the ALP’s think tank Grattan Institute recently rewarded for the damage his advice has done with an AO) and Danny Price from Frontier Economics (also an ALP consultant).

In so far as their advice has been followed, these two prominent characters have been instrumental in forging the taxing policies on fossil fuel generators that have destroyed our energy market. They now acknowledge the market is broken, it being impossible to shrug off the line ball reliability and doubling soon-to-be trebling of prices

But the politicians’ favoured consultants’ solution is one further attempt to get the interventionary policies right. Like the fans of socialism, they say its failure is because it has never been done properly!

The other speakers were operationally oriented – largely consultants – who proffered ways that the renewable target, now sanctified by the Paris Agreement few recognise as dead and buried, could be operationalised.

We have seen the wholesale price for electricity rise from under $40 per MWh with very little trend up until 2012, and was still $40 in 2015, to its present level of around $90 per MWh

​Wind has risen from nothing in the early part of the century to a share of over 10 per cent today. All of that wind is dependent on subsidies currently around $85 per MWh. In addition, there is the roof top solar (subsidised at $40 per MWh plus advantageous export tariffs). ​

Due to its abundant coal supplies, Australia had perhaps the cheapest electricity in the world ten years ago. As a result of the renewable subsidies it is now among the most expensive. Aside from increased direct costs to households, this has immense adverse consequences for the competitiveness of Australian industries and hence the nation’s living standards.

We can reverse direction and perhaps the demonstration effect of the US will provide the catalyst.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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